Beth Nilssen
November 8, 2022 / Great Advice

Former Army captain impressed with this “battle-tested” franchise hair salon brand

Over the last 10 consecutive years, Great Clips salons in the U.S. and Canada have provided nearly 2 million free haircuts on Veterans Day and Remembrance Day to active and veteran military service members. The initiative expresses one of the trademark values of Great Clips: to show kindness by giving back to our communities.


The Veterans Day promotion was one of the things that attracted Army veteran John Bautista to become a Great Clips franchisee. Originally from California, John moved to Katy, Texas with his wife and three daughters. He is now preparing to open his first Great Clips walk-in hair salon in the Houston market.


John, tell us how you transitioned from your military career to becoming a Great Clips franchisee.

John Bautista: I was a military police officer for about 10 years. After active duty in the Army, my last years as a captain, I worked in law enforcement, doing “weekend warrior” Army reserve duty for a few years. I had been a customer of Great Clips for a long time—in the military, you have to keep high grooming standards, so whenever I needed a quick haircut, Great Clips was the convenient place to go!


I’m also a personal fitness trainer, and as I was looking for franchise investment opportunities, I was attracted to service-oriented businesses because it’s something I’m familiar with. The salon industry was a good fit, and the more I did my due diligence with Great Clips, the more I realized it was a very viable candidate for me. Once I started talking to the franchise development department, everything about the brand resonated.


Before you made your final decision, you asked to talk to other Great Clips franchisees who were military veterans. Why was that important to you?

John: I wanted to talk to somebody who had a similar background as me, because we are able to speak the same language. In the military, there's a kind of brother- and sisterhood where you are joined together for a common mission to meet a common goal. I feel like being a Great Clips franchisee is the same way—we all have a common mission in trying to create a strong brand so we can be successful together.


Each of the individuals I talked with spent hours on the phone with me. I was amazed at the amount of knowledge and time they were willing to share. What they told me was impressive, that the Great Clips system was robust, simplified, and battle tested. Great Clips, Inc has been helping to build franchisees’ businesses for 40 years. These techniques have been used over and over again. You’re not reinventing the wheel. You just have to ask people how to use them—it’s very much like the military where it's a system of support.


They all said that when put up against the competition, Great Clips was the winning team. That pretty much sealed the deal for me.


As a veteran, how much did the fact that Great Clips supports veterans make a difference in your decision?

John: One thing that sparked my interest in Great Clips was the financial incentives they give to new franchisees who are veterans. That means something to me because it’s a message they want to support people who have dedicated part of their lives to the military. That impressed me during my vetting process of different franchises. [Ed. Note: Great Clips regularly participates in the VetFran program, offering a rebate to veterans on part of their initial franchise fee.]


Also, I’ve always thought that once I owned my own business, I want to give discounts to military veterans and first responders as a way of saying thanks to people who give so much to our communities. I’m definitely looking forward to participating in the Great Clips Thank a Veteran program.


John, thank you for your service. We couldn’t be more pleased to have you join the Great Clips family as a franchisee.


Beth Nilssen 
Director of Franchise Development | Great Clips, Inc.
800-947-1143 | [email protected]


On Friday, November 11, 2022, veterans and active service members can go into any U.S. Great Clips salon and get a free haircut or a free haircut card for a future visit. In addition, non-military customers who get a haircut on Veterans Day at Great Clips salons will also have the opportunity to pay it forward. They can receive a free haircut card to give to an active service member or veteran they know as a way of saying thank you. The cards can be redeemed for a free haircut from November 12 through December 9, 2022.

Over the last 10 consecutive years, Great Clips salons have provided nearly 2 million free haircuts to active and veteran military service members, adding up to more than $27 million in complimentary haircuts. 

Active and veteran military service members in Canada can receive a free haircut or a free haircut card at participating salons on Remembrance Day (Friday, November 11, 2022). Please contact your local Great Clips salon to see if they are participating. 

Beth Nilssen By Beth Nilssen on November 8, 2022
Up Next: Great Advice

Does your franchisor have BRAND COLLABORATION power?

Read Now

Get in touch

We'd love to learn more about your goals and answer your questions about becoming a Great Clips franchisee. Please fill out our contact form, and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Chatting with us is completely confidential.